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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Four Hour Tour...

A Four Hour Tour….

(I know what you’re singing now… :)

Well, we were told it would be a four hour tour to Datong – where Mary’s orphanage is. It is actually only three hours to Datong – and then another hour to navigate the traffic :). So… four hours it was… with two little ones under three… Any secrets? Yes…. Children’s Gravol :) Some for you, and some for you… and nighty-night for at least an hour and a half anyways… Happy travelers.

Why Datong you ask? Well, turns out we got a referral from a city that you have to apply for the baby's passport when you are actually IN the child’s city. A photocopy or fax is not good enough – they need to see the original Adoption Order – ergo a four hour tour. So, we made arrangements to stay the night and visit Mary’s orphanage tomorrow to see where she spent some of her life which was something we could not do with Sylvie’s orphanage.

Let’s just say the further that you get away from the major centres the tougher it is to communicate. We had an interesting time trying to order a bit of room service for dinner here, which required a nice man to come up with a menu with pictures (actually very common to order from for anyone – that’s apparently how it’s done) Not that Datong is small – I think Verena (our guide) said that it was a measly three million people… But not a lot of foreigners here… Oh, and smog (or smelter smoke for all you Bomber-town lovers) that would put the Flon to shame. The second largest coal electrical plant Is here in Datong – quite a site… Looks like the opening scene from The Simpsons but on a much, much grander scale. Also got to see a piece of the original Wall – like the Great Wall, but older… I think Verena said that the history of Shanxi could be dated back past 5000 years… The oldest province in China apparently ;)

Mary Dan Dan is still a very quiet, serious little girl. She has been much more successful drinking from her sippy cup today – especially when juice is involved… Water is apparently not the motivator juice is :). She is still a champion eater and is willing to try just about anything we give her. We are starting to get a little bit more eye contact from Dan Dan and she seems very interested in Sylvie running around the room - She is still more of an observer than a participant but she will let Sylvie lead her around by the hand, so there will definitely be more.

Sylvie has been quite the little traveler and has been doing fantastic at becoming a jie jie (big sister). Everyone here is so impressed with her English speaking skills – being that she is only two and change. We all know she is a child star in the making but I think all the attention may go to her head… :) We’ll see if we can’t arrange some sort of early retirement with her as our breadwinner.

Until tomorrow…

C & J & S & M (Not S & M in the way YOU are thinking…. This is ‘G’ rated)
…So if the Professor could build a radio out of coconuts – Why couldn’t he get their dumb asses off the island?

A little feeding before we head off to complete the adoption

All the girls at the government office where we are finishing paperwork

A group shot with the workers from the orphanage

On the road - Who knew there would be a 6.5 km tunnel in the mountain??

 Here is a glimpse of the original piece of the wall - Made of clay and not brick like the Great Wall

 The Simpsons.... Dah da da de dah da da de dah dah

 Here are the girls in the hotel lobby in Datong - They trucked around in there for a while.

 The view from our hotel room in Datong - A lot of construction work is going in the city


  1. Haha, okay, so thins has to be a Cory post... rofl.
    LOVE the pictures.. especially the one of Mama and her girls (looking all sooooo happy!) and the one of Sylvie and Mary together...

  2. I always wondered why poor Gilligan had to take all the blame - surely the rest of them could have figured something out... anyway, glad that you're just in China, not stuck on an island somewhere! Loved the post, adored the pictures!

  3. PS - You have to change your profile now! You are a family of seven!!

  4. Awesome posts and pictures! We're sooooo very happy for you!!! We were at another Adoption Centre info session last night and thought of the last time when you were there with us sharing your story, and now only two months later you're in China! Totally cool!

  5. love the photos...funny how Sylvie looks so much older all of a sudden next to her little sister. Looks like you are in a very interesting and historical part of China.
    Travel safe!

  6. Great pictures of Datong...and your family.
    I wish that we could have gone there 6 years ago. Glad to see that your 2 are doing well together.
    You mentioned about Shanxi's pollution. It is also responisble for one of the country's highest rate of birth defects.

  7. Amazing pictures! I hope your visit to the orphanage is a good one and that they'll allow you to take lots of photos.

  8. So happy to hear you're getting to see the orphanage. S looks happier today! :) What a funny post, like previous commentors said, must be your husband writing, although I kinda knew that as soon as I read the part about the Simpsons! Men!!

    Take care and enjoy!

  9. Congrats on adopting your baby girl. An amazing experience for all of you!